A series of bombs rocked central London at the height of rush hour today, in the subway system, on a double-decker bus. At least four explosions. As many as 700 hundred hurt, 37 dead as of this evening, our time. The toll is expected to rise. From the G-8 summit Prime Minister Tony Blair says it is "reasonably clear" that terrorism is to blame for the "barbaric" blasts. AP main story here.
An impressive Wikipedia entry on the bombings has already taken shape.
Germany's Der Spiegel reports Al Qaida claims responsibility. The magazine's Web site has this:
A double-decker bus at Tavistock Place had its roof blown completely open by a violent explosion and there were a number of explosions on the London tube as well -- including incidents at Aldgate, Edgware Road, King's Cross, Old Street and Russell Square, and Liverpool Street stations.
The blasts, which were early on blamed on a possible power surge on the London grid, have now been claimed by the terrorist group al-Qaida according to a document posted on Web site often used by the group to announce attacks. A group calling itself "Secret Organization -- al Qaida in Europe" says it was responsible and says it was a reaction to British participation in military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The authenticity of the claim could not immediately be verified.
Der Spiegel also has a slideshow.
10 Downing Street's Web page posts Tony Blair's first statement. An excerpt: "It is important that those engaged in terrorism realize that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world."
The Observer's blog links to TV screen shots of the morning's events, via Flickr, which is posting pool photographs.
The BBC's map showing where the attacks occurred, here.
Text of statement from group claiming responsibility for bombings:
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate, may peace be upon the cheerful one and undaunted fighter, Prophet Muhammad, God's peace be upon him.
Nation of Islam and Arab nation: Rejoice for it is time to take revenge against the British Zionist Crusader government in retaliation for the massacres Britain is committing in Iraq and Afghanistan. The heroic mujahideen have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters.
We have repeatedly warned the British Government and people. We have fulfilled our promise and carried out our blessed military raid in Britain after our mujahideen exerted strenuous efforts over a long period of time to ensure the success of the raid.
We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all the Crusader governments that they will be punished in the same way if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He who warns is excused.
God says: 'You who believe: If ye will aid (the cause of) Allah, He will aid you, and plant your feet firmly.' Story here.
The British Bloggerheads site is busy grabbing pictures, audio, news and opinion.
Europhobia is as well.
Tim Worstall has gathered samples of blog opinion from across England and beyond.
Among The Wibbler's posts is this note of empathy from a New Yorker named Maria. "Our hearthfelt condolences to the people of London and the UK. We New Yorkers know how horrible is the feeling brought up by an attack. We hope the people hurt recover soon and those involved in the planning of this monstruosity pay before the courts. Again, our thoughts are with you. London will show the world what a great city is, recovering from this tragedy and standing tall."